Why I feel like Renee Zellweger?

Posted By: Ambika Anand                

It's the first season for the wedding show, The Big Fat Indian Wedding and it had its benefits. I was introduced to the meaning behind the various rituals and to the fabulous food that exists all over the country.

Eating the Prawn Vindaloo at a Catholic wedding in Goa or the Pandi curry in Coorg which is essentially pork cooked with lots of black pepper or the mouth watering kebabs at a Sunni Muslim wedding in Lucknow was education indeed.

At 24 you think the world is your oyster. But as I continued to do the wedding show, season after season, I realised I was 10 kilos more than what I was at 22!

The beauty of one's career is that it's never static...and unlike physical beauty that fades with's career can be compared to wine - it gets better with age. At least one would hope so!

So when the company was starting its Lifestyle Channel - I was asked to move. Well, someone did say...“If we don't change, we don't grow.” If we don't grow, we are not really living. Without asking my job profile I accepted the change.

After doing some years of business and wedding journalism (if there is anything like that!!) I was looking forward to the change. Soon I was asked to work on fashion. “But - why fashion and me,” I asked the CEO of the Channel!

She said.. “Well...thats because you love to dress up.” And I thought well that's great, after years of working on business, trying hard to read the pink papers everyday and the Economist on a weekly basis my only apparent strength was my fashion sense..

Anyways - that led to the birth of a new show - I'm Too Sexy For My Shoes!

So I was happy - after all reading about fashion was my favourite pastime, and initially the The Big Fat Indian Wedding show was not to be a part of the channel. I thought that spelt great news for my waistline and I could always read about India's gastronomical delights in Vir Sanghvi's articles.

But my bubble soon burst, since our marketing team wanted the wedding show back. Most of the weddings that my producer organised entailed travelling....which is synonymous with eating airline food, exotic looking desserts, wonderfully cooked Kashmiri on and so forth.

Well, simultaneously my fashion producer was generous too. She made my life mirror a mini fairytale and I was sent to fashion weeks in Paris, New York, London and Milan, where I met some of the world's best known fashion journalists, designers and businessmen.

One of the recent weddings we shot for The Big Fat Indian Wedding was my friend's wedding in Nairobi, Kenya. During the same trip I shot something for fashion too. Little did I know that this trip would change my life forever.

My Fashion Boss, Arati Singh, watched me on air and said, “Sweetie, the episode was great but you look pregnant.”
Following this comment I was fondly called 'Chabbu' by all. I got out of the loo and my colleagues would look at me and say, “Gosh ya, your hips have become bigger.”

So to prove a point I decided to go on a diet and exercise for an hour a day. Initially, the diet felt like I had transferred to Somalia. While I was losing weight seemed like I was losing weight on my brain too.

I believe lack of glucose does that to you!!! I ate tiny portions every one hour and my last meal was at six.
I read books on health and diet be it Shikha Sharma, French Women Don't Get Fat and Fat People Skip Breakfast. Yes, eventually the results paid off.

Soon people in my office reached the other extreme and told me how anorexic I look. My only answer was: Mind your own business.
I wonder if it's an Indian thing. When you are fat everyone thinks its their birthright to tell you so...and when you are making an effort to lose weight, no one except your mother and close friends would support you!

As I attended an office party a few days ago.. I was told how I have suddenly started looking 16 and I ought not to lose any more weight instead I was asked to put on weight as the viewers watching the wedding show might think I am bulimic.

The argument: Well, you can't have a skinny anchor pretend to eat Rogan Josh and look 5 kilos underweight. So I feel like Renee Zellweger who had to keep putting on and dropping weight for Bridget Jones Diary. Except I have to do it at 1/10000th the salary!!
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